Posted by fiddlepogo on Thursday, September 20, 2012
In July, I was disappointed to hear that one facility didn't want me back in August. But there was a clarification... they had bought another facility, and were in a sorting out process. Now I'm back at the one I was in previously, plus an additional one. The first performance there was this afternoon.
The new place has a security gate to keep Alzheimers patients from roaming. So I was a little concerned about getting in, but that went okay. This room was bigger, so I'm going to be using my P.A. for this one. It's a mix of Alzheimers and regular senior residents. I did my usual very familiar fiddle tunes, very familiar waltzes, very familiar fiddle songs, very familiar minstrel songs and spirituals with clawhammer banjo, and very familar country-folk, country, and cowboy songs with guitar. And a lot of them sang along, and that's always a good sign.
Afterwards, the activity director took them out for croquet, and one fellow in a motorized wheelchair came over and said I had a good bunch of music. Then he said..." But you were too close to the mic! That makes them distort." And I admitted there might be something to that- I think I'm using a mic technique that's maybe better for Shure SM58's than for the Heil mics I have. Anyway, it seemed like he needed to reminisce, so I let him. Turns out he was from Arkansas! So after a while, I offered to play Arkansas Traveler for him. He liked that, so I asked him if he'd ever heard the skit, and he hadn't, so I told him my story version of the Arkansas Traveler skit. I got the traditional jokes out of the New Lost City Ramblers song book years ago, then have added narration to make it understandable as a one person presentation. And he laughed at nearly every joke! I like that, since the core of the skit is the jokes, and it seemed to do him good. He's a WWII vet, and it seems he's remembering too many of the horrors of the war in the Pacific. So I think he needed some laughs. The only problem was that it was hard to pull away! Somehow I get the idea he doesn't get many visitors.
I decided to go with the mixer and two mics, having found the missing cord. The activity director is a performing musician herself so I have extra respect for her opinion about such things, and I asked her how the sound was, and she said I was getting a good sound. Mellow not harsh.
Good news! This morning as I was practicing, the left ear's Eustachian tube popped open and I could hear clearly out of it for the first time in about a week. Maybe the doctor's regimen is working after all!
1 comment on “Gig at New Location...”
Monday, October 1, 2012 @8:34:03 PM
That's awesome--about the gig experience, your mic and the ear!!! Music touches people...that's wonderful you play for the nursing home. That's what i would like to do as well as play for the kids at a battered women's shelter or something like that. But, need to get quite a bit better, but that's my goal!!! Want to get kids involved and take them out of some of there problems through music. Thanks for sharing your stories!
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'"Different Versions"' 17 hrs
'Cornerless Fiddle' 2 days
'That time of Year' 3 days